It is done!
Lock and Load 2016 has come and gone. I met up with some great people, played some awesome games, and saw people I only get to see a few times a year. True to advertisement, the 3rd edition of Warmachine has released, and with it a flurry of new activity surrounding the meta, the factions, the lists and the rules. But before I get into what happened after the release of 3e and going forward, and I want to look back on what I did while I was out there and how much fun I had.
And I came home with all this!
I traditionally fly out on Wednesday evening, get to the hotel, and get ready for the Invitational the next day. By get ready, I mean do nothing at all. This year, for the first time, I few out with a whole pile of East Coast players, and we all decided to make a trip up to Mox boarding house for some beer and games. While most everyone else did more beer than games, I got one in with a fellow cryxian from WVA.
He whipped out terminus and I pulled Deneghra 3, thinking that I could use some more practice. Turns out, it was completely true.
While the jam plan was solid, and I made remarkable headway during the game, the Bloodwitches in the zone on my right, deep into the game, broke when Terminus flew nearby, failed to rally, and stayed in position to be purged the next turn. I couldn’t wait for 3rd to come out so both of those things could just vanish into the ether! With my final unit dead with nothing to show for the patience I played them with, Denny was unable to clear enough of the enemy army on her own and fell, 5-4 on scenario to Terminus.
Starting the Invitational out right, a friend of mine I see just about once a year from up north and I decided to get a game in. Still thinking I wanted practice, I pulled out my Goreshade 3 list to try and balance out my list experience. He, again a Cryx player, pulled Skarre 2. The game was fairly swift, with Deathjacks, Satyxis Raiders, Gerlak and Blackbanes mixing it up. Thankfully, Goreshade 3 is a durable bastard, and was able to face-tank a Reaper. The Reaper successfully tanked and Skarre right nearby, I rode Goreshade through my Blackbanes and into her rear. A successful Voass attack later froze her and it was over. Goreshade 3 wins on assassination.
Next on the Docket was Jason Soles! I had played him a few years back when Colossals came out, and he was a really good guy to play then, and nothing had changed. I decided, though, between playing Dan and Starting a game with Jason, that I wanted to play all my converted bane thralls, so I shelved Denny 3 and Goreshade 3 for the rest of the day and pulled out Skarre and her bane Cadre. Jason, like years before, was playing a Kreoss 3 cavalry list that hit like a truck.
This game swung back and forth, with huge swaths of the armies being removed each turn. The game felt like it was over several times, including when Fires of Salvation trampled, engaged Skarre and missed the bought attack on turn 2. recovering from that and countering made most of my army explode, and a feat turn to simply turn the tide back in my favor. finally, with some dozen models on the table, Skarre brazenly moved up, sacrificed a Bane Knight and used Sacrificial Strike. With a massive damage spike (17 on three dice), I set up Kreoss for the fall, and Tartarus promply turned him into a Bane Knight.
Feeling all warmed up, I approached Ed Burelle for a game. I’d not played him prior, but we’d talked Cryx before. He was up for a swift match. He was using Mortenebra, so I knew it was going to be swift, one way or another. High Defense Cryx jacks are often a thing, but thankfully, I brought Dark Guidance, and was able to get a few of the lights off the table before they could close in on Skarre. I then brought the fortunate Bane Knights in around the side via vengeance and a curse (so long, MK 2!) to get 5 in range with Dark Guidance. while the first two knights had me sweating when they missed, the Third took her out. Ed mentioned that he changed the list up yesterday, and wasn’t really pleased with it, as the models swapped weren’t panning out they way he wanted too all day. I know the feeling!
With that, I grabbed a bite to eat, and then went up to the store to get some 3rd edition goodies. By the time I was back, the fun had died down and it was time to pack it in. I was beat and knew I had Masters in the morning, so I took a nap.
Getting up on East Coast time meant I wasn’t sleeping past 5:30am. No biggie, though, as I was able to wash, eat and hang out prior to the events of the day, which was good as I was well fed and ready to go into legion for the first matchup of the day.
I brought the two lists I’ve been working with forever to my second ever masters event, and it was the right thing to do.
Deneghra the Soul Weaver
Necrosurgeon + Stitch Thralls x2
Satyxis Blood Hag
– Satyxis Blood Witches (x10)
Satyxis Raiders (x10)
– Satyxis Sea Witch
Cylena and Nyss Hunters (x10)
Effigy of Valor
Goreshade, Lord of Ruin
Satyxis Raider Captian
Bane Riders (x5)
Satyxis Raiders (x10)
-Satyxis Sea Witch
Blackbanes Ghost Raiders
Helldiver x2 (Goreshade)
Helldiver x1 (Aiakos)
Aiakos, Scourge of the Meredius
First round I am paired into Legion. Lylyth 2 and, to be honest, someone who was not Vayl 2. I knew I didn’t like the Vayl 2 match-up, but I had been told that into Lylyth 2, I’d be just fine with Goreshade 3. I knew it in the first few moments, so I had my list, and we got started.
Unfortunately, this is one of those games that easily could have gone the other way, but he forgot to deploy his Naga and only noticed during the middle of his second turn. Magical Ravagore shots could have killed more of the Blackbanes, indeed. However, he popped his feat to surf through the Blackbanes and Raiders, killing almost all of them, leaving me with only the Kraken, Goreshade and Bane Riders to tank his army. I felt pretty shaky, but after extremely aggressive play to go up to 3 CP, and taking out Zuriels spirit so he couldn’t shake the feat, I was able to destroy his Angelious and dominate my own zone for the final 2 points and win the game. I feel sorry for the Naga not being on the board, but I also didn’t use Scything Touch against the Frozen Zuriel, so things happen. I start my second ever masters 1-0!
I like to think of myself as a pretty astute player, but I know there is at least one, if not two tiers above me on the actual circuit, and at lock and load, you get to play those people, sometimes, for good or for Ill. My round two pairing was Tom Guan. I didn’t know if I was prepared or not, but I knew I was going to do my damnedest to take him out. He had Issyria and Will of Nine Voices, and I knew that Denny was dead into Ravyn. I had to drop Goreshade 3, and he was going to drop Issyria into it so that occultation didn’t matter, which is exactly how it happened.
If nothing, I am extremely aggressive and make my opponent react to my moves, so I went all out against Tom’s Issyria list, running everything as far as it could forward, with Goreshade hanging a little back and the Kraken taking the hill. Tom, as expected, popped his feat and blew away a vast portion of my army, and broke the Satyxis (again!). I tried to position as best I could, but got to greedy with the Bane Riders, sending them all in to get killed instead of keeping one back for mockery. The Feat locked down a few models, stalling for time. Finally, I was able to get Issyria into range of the Kraken, with three focus, on a hill. Rolling 3 shots on the little gun, I was fairly sure I could get the job done. The Kraken, however, forgot how to roll, and couldn’t get an 11 on the big gun, boosted. Shooting the little gun three more times tagged her once, and a boosted damage roll brought her to two. Sadly, the Broken Satyxis were unable to finish her off, and she fled, smartly, behind an obstacle. I was on the backfoot, at that point, unable to pin down Issyria and loosing models fast. While I lost every model on the board that wasn’t Goreshade 3, I took it as a small victory. I was not assassinated on the top of 2. Game 2 of Masters goes down, and I’m 1-1
I’ve got two games down, both with Goreshade, and I’m starting to worry about list locking into round 4. This scenario, though, is close Quarters with no objectives and I’m tired of my Satyxis breaking. Looking at his lists, though, Its Baldur 1 and Kromac 2. Unable to drop a living army into Kromac 2 or depend on my high Def to keep me alive, I have to drop Goreshade 3, which I do and lock myself into Denny 3 round 4. It was a calculated risk, as the last two scenarios were 2 of the three without objectives, so I figured that the last one was likely to have at least some hope of me not breaking. All I needed was for it to be a semi-pleasant matchup and I’d be ok. Oh, please, please!
My opponent, a fantastic individual, drops Baldur 1 and I breathe a sigh of relief. Not having faced Kromac before, I didn’t really know what to expect. Baldur, though, I had played against since his release.
Which means that the turn I popped my feat and failed to get Baldur in range of any of my assassination vectors, I parked Goreshade right in the damned woods. Thankfully, I was camping 2. Baldur had to spend 1 to shake, Spend 3 to create a forest, and then just freaking teleported over to me. With the Big Moneky missing his Lightning Gun earlier in the turn, leaving me at full health, Baldur was on short odds to take me out, but had to go for it or loose his whole army in reprisal. Four swings later, he’d done double his expected output and dropped me to 2 HP. Close, but not close enough. With a Scarlock casting Scything touch on Goreshade, he boosted once for a freezing P+S 17 hit, which connected, and the game was over shortly therafter. 2-1, I was calling it a good day.
My final opponent of the day was playing trolls on a table with an objective. My gamble paid off, and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Locked into Denny 3 as I was, the obvious choice was Grim 2. A million attacks with snipe and an accuracy bonus looked like a good deal.
Thankfully, I had played this match-up a bunch of times, and knew the devastation it was going to bring. Like every other game with Denny 3, I just piled the units downfield while I was gathering the corpses of the dead to make more mechanithralls. The casualties piled up and I gathered their souls and their corpses for the benefit of Cryx. Finally able to make my move after he’d just barely been out of range with the Bomber and Missing with the Slag, I went for the assassination, in melee, with 13 Focus. Grim is not an easy target to take down, but I kept swinging, eventually, with only a single focus left, taking him down and him failing a tough check. It wasn’t my best, but the game ended with a win, and I finished Masters a respectable 3-1, 10th place out of the ~90 original entrants.
I do have to say, though, that I did have my good friend Travis there, at the last table, yelling at me afterwards for not scourging grim so I auto-hit in melee. Fishing for 11’s is a little dangerous. He’s likely very correct, and I am lucky I pulled it out. Had he toughed or I missed one more time, likelyhood is that game goes tits up. I’ll never forget the lesson though. Thanks, Travis!
After four rounds, and almost 10 hours of gaming, I was set for the 35pt Team Tournament to begin! with but an hour between the two tournaments it was going to be tight, but my team and I were ready to go.
With all three of us being Local to each other on the East Coast, and being in the same Team Tournament Circuit, we simply combined our Team names to form our Lock and Load Team name: Advanced Forum Bastards. Together we had Cryx, Cryx, Trolls, and felt pretty confident.
Round 1 we played against the Team from Alaska, and we managed to go 3-0, with my table being the last, sloppiest and messiest win I’ve ever had. Denny 3 recursion v. Axis Tier 4 went exactly as you would expect it to, even to the point of me having arm 31 at one point and just bounding over his army. Winning on Clock never felt so dirty.
The second round, I appologize for not having any pictures, was against a Vayl 2 player, and as I said earlier, I didn’t really have an answer for her. Did me dirty, she did, blowing up almost my whole army and winning on scenario, but the rest of my team pulled me out and we advanced to the last round.
This one, was not so good. At the top table we had to play some very good players, at 2am, with almost no sleep. Unfortunately, we were forced to feat first, and they simply undid our feat and forced us to play the matchup we didn’t want: Tom Guan into our other Cryx player. I got to play a great game with Aaron Wale, and our final player got to play into Keith Christianson.
it did not go well. we went 0-3 into them, with Wale and I drawing deep into the night to smash each others armies to bits. He was simply able to play better, longer, and beat me hands down.
Though it was a long night, we did manage to come away with Third Place overall, and I won the raffle to take home a Bane Witch Agathia canvas. It was pretty damned sweet.
Finally, I was able to get done about 3 hours early, which made it so that I could get some five hours of sleep before spelldraft in the morning, which I’ll go over next time!
That was the last of my really competative games in MK II, though there were the spelldraft games left, they were more insano-bonkers than these were, even at 50 points. Next year, I look to somehow be better at Masters and improve my score to 4-0 and qualify. Who knows, maybe it can happen!
Until next time,